With snow and everything!

       Yep. It’s sunny and a beautiful 79 degrees with a light breeze here in the valley—another perfect Colorado afternoon….and yet all around us, tiny white puffs are coming down swirling in circles like we’re living in a real life western snow globe! For the past two weeks, our guests have looked at us initially perplexed at all the “snow”, as we point with a smile at the cottonwood trees towering over the river valley like they’ve done for over a hundred years. And for those who have never seen a cottonwood tree before—it’s an introduction with a name they won’t soon forget! IMGP3766         The “flurries” last for about two weeks if the wind isn’t blowing it down more quickly. And although there are quite a few laughs to be gained by watching your pal accidently sniff one up their nose and there is quite a bit of extra work needed to keep the pool top skimmed, there is definitely an element of true beauty that the falling “snow” brings as well. Where else can you have a blizzard in the middle of summer? We don’t have the pollen so many people get. For us? It’s just those Cottonwoods! IMGP3761IMGP3760IMGP3757   IMGP3754IMGP3753IMGP3751         wire[6]         We were pleased this year on the 4th of July, to be able to share with our guests an Independence Day rodeo at Flying Heels Arena in Granby. The Westernaires pulled out all the stops in between rodeo events to give the spectators a show that the Red, White and Blue could be proud of! Not bad for a small town! IMG_7006IMG_7098IMG_7095         The Westernaires are a group of youth between the ages of 9 and 19 in Jefferson County, CO who commit themselves to preserving western heritage and teaching youth teamwork through their performances of precision mounted drills. Everything from bareback jumping to trick riding—they are an impressive sight to behold! IMG_7078IMG_7081IMG_7007IMG_7073IMG_7050IMGP3869IMGP3861IMG_7206IMGP3866IMGP3867IMGP3864         It was special holiday with all of our ranch guest families and staff! Nothing quite like deepening your appreciation for the Old West and the traditions that have developed into modern rodeo events. It was many of those traditions that helped build this great nation when settlers moved west and tried their hand at ranching and farming.IMG_6983  IMG_7240IMG_7249IMG_7257         Check out the bareback/bridleless riders! A tribute to the Native Americans who also shaped early America. The rodeo was wonderful and a fitting tribute to our country’s rich history and early culture. We are fortunate to have these traditions preserved and to be able to share them with others! IMG_7229IMG_7225IMG_7217IMG_7219IMG_7204 It was a wonderful 4th of July! wire[6]         So since we have been talking about snow…and July….check out our completely silly-just-for-laughs “Christmas in July” party this past week! I hear the word “epic” used a lot these days. I think it’s overused. But this? Was epic. It’s okay to use it if it’s true…. IMG_7597          FIRST of all—we would like to point out this event was put together by those NOT here for the 8 snowy months of the winter, so we can see how they feel like they missed out(sarcasm)….but since Christmas is all about being with your family and all the family is only here in the summer….it just made sense to do it again! Besides, who doesn’t like getting and giving gifts that have no use whatsoever? A White Elephant exchange is the perfect way to FINALLY find a home for that hollow bird candle burner Aunt Bev gave you for Christmas a few years back   (I KNEW I held on to that thing for a reason.) IMG_7595 Need some flippers? A cat face door hanger? Tiny feathered pink purse lamp? IMG_7601IMG_7615 IMG_7686IMG_7664IMG_7651 We got ya covered. OH LOOK! The deer purse you’ve always wanted! IMG_7636IMG_7626IMG_7617IMG_7628IMG_7635         So as you can plainly see—we sure do love our great big ranch family. And what can you gain from a large group of fun-loving folks who take care of each other and enjoy what they do here at the ranch? The vacation of a lifetime. Because the only thing we love more than being here-- is sharing it with all of YOU! (And we’ll throw in the deer purse for freeee. We know. We know. It’s overwhelming. Thank us later.) IMG_7689        wire[6]         But our favorite gifts this month have been all the familiar faces around the ranch these past couple of weeks and for some of you, they’ll be a blast from the past while others you’ll recognize from just last year. Richard (caught here line-dancing….no use denying it Richard!) started working for the ranch ten years ago and stopped in to spend some time and lend a hand for a couple weeks this past month. What a treat to have him helping out but we are most pleased to report that we were able to help him out as well….IMG_7572 We got him a line-dancing cowboy personal trainer and there is hope for him yet! Way to go Richard! (Uhhh—sorry. “Personal line-dancing cowboy” is not included in our all-inclusive rate…) IMG_7582IMG_7584

        Here’s another cowboy you might recognize. “Red” worked for us a couple of years back and now resides in another part of Colorado. He dropped in on a whim to say hello and he and Tammy did an impromptu performance for everyone. We’re not saying it reminded him of how much he misses this place, we’re just saying “someone” might be putting in an application to work here again sometime in the near future…. IMG_7703IMG_7714IMG_7693 Recognize these others? No you’re not seeing double! Did you know Carolyn who wrangled for us last year has a twin? They BOTH came in for a few days to say howdy and get their ranch fix! (Now can you tell which one is Carolyn and which is Kristina?) 1015747_10152900973385018_422700664_o (1) Here’s a gal we haven’t seen in quite a while—or at least most of our guests haven’t. Gabby wrangled for us for a couple of years back in 2004 and 2005 and has since resided in Colorado towards the Fort Collins area. When Jerry and Cheri ran into her at Elisa’s wedding, they talked her into coming and spending the rest of the summer with us. We’re so happy!IMGP7182

And finally:   Dear Pete,

We are sorry for this photo. Not really. But at least we said it. Thank you for helping to fill in for Dale for a couple of weeks while he and Sue are on a safari in Africa (true story). Mostly thank you for performing as an Ugly Sister in the Cinderella skit. You are truly an ugly sister. One of the best. Love ya, Your ranch family IMGP7185 wire[6]         Speaking of familiar faces—Miss Juni Fisher is back again this year for a few shows exclusive to the Bar Lazy J and she’s as sassy as ever! She and her horse Silk are on the road together this summer on tour and we were delighted to have Juni join us for our famous Breakfast Ride.IMG_7545IMG_7552IMG_7541 IMG_7533IMG_6937 But really—who can resist a hearty breakfast cooked over a fire after a long morning ride??  No better way to start the day! IMG_6894IMG_6923IMG_6918 IMG_6905IMG_6935IMG_6925          We are so incredibly fortunate to have Juni for a handful of shows every summer for the past few years. The multi-award winning singer and songwriter for the Western Music Association has a full schedule and we consider ourselves quite lucky she finds a few days to come spend with us and share her songs and stories with our guests. Plus we just plain LOVE her! IMG_7489         And this summer she is featuring songs off her new album “Listen… to the horse” (starring Juni on her gorgeous mare Silk on the cover).  Just when we think we have heard the absolute best from her, she finds a way to astound us once again. A must have for the western music lover or any horse lover out there! A performer in high demand, we’re thrilled to have her come play in such an intimate setting several times each year. We’ve got two more concerts on the books for this summer and we already can’t wait to have her back! Thank you Juni! IMG_7485 wire[6] Well the bears are back this summer!  This one we found looking longingly at the pig pen (their food—not the pigs. Not yet at least….) 1002710_2011595374841_1562360504_n But THIS here is the “Bear” that is something to really sing about. Talk about Christmas in July!         We are happy to introduce to you the newest member of our Bar Lazy J family! Bear is just over one year old and was rescued from euthanization at a high kill shelter in Oklahoma just a short time ago. The Yurich family offered to foster him until he found his forever home, but once Jerry and Cheri laid eyes on him, they knew he belonged here at the Bar Lazy J. How was this sweet pup to know he had just won the doggie lottery?! IMG_7186IMG_7182         Bear (named for that little bear face!) has become Cheri’s personal trail dog now that Queen spends more time resting in her senior years (she has well-earned her retirement!) and he took to it like a fish in water. This once  nervous, skittish Border Collie mix has gone from fearing everything to finally realizing he has nothing to fear. And he’s not going anywhere! IMG_7173 IMG_7430         Although he still has some ropes to figure out, this sweet boy is quickly getting the hang of things. He is great with kids, loves lounging in the flower beds and drinking from the river. And talk about the perfect ranch dog—today he went and retrieved Cheri’s hat for her when it blew off in a big wind storm that started up during her horsemanship class! He gently brought it back for her totally unprompted. So we know it’s safe to say—we chose HIM, but more importantly…. IMG_6888IMG_7151IMG_7459IMG_7437 …Bear chose US! Can’t wait for you all to meet him! IMG_7431 (Don’t ya just love happy endings?)

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